Teacher Roster

Toni Canady

  • School: Mount Si High School
  • Teaches: Language Arts, Grades 9 & 10
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

Cara Byrne

  • School: Samantha Smith Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

Becky Kjolso

  • School: Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Cam Chancellor

Tracy Dyson

  • School: Hazelwood Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 2
  • Favorite Player: Bobby Wagner

Danielle Woods

  • School: Leschi Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten & Grade 1
  • Favorite Player: Richard Sherman

Maret Poole

  • School: McGilvra Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

Kailey Shepard

  • School: Mill Creek Middle School
  • Teaches: Social Studies - Grade 7
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

Dana Barry

  • School: St. John School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

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Toni Canady

  • School: Mount Si High School
  • Teaches: Language Arts, Grades 9 & 10
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Toni Canady works primarily with at-risk youth, but she offers structure, guidance, love, concern, friendship and compassion to every Mount Si student, whether they are in her class or not,” said colleague Eric Mitchell. “Mrs. Canady is well-respected by her students and peers alike for her tireless efforts and her refusal to accept anything which is negative. She works across disciplines with other teachers who are willing to collaborate to find ways to help students succeed in their other classes by bringing that work into her class. In so doing, she provides additional scaffolding and support. Mrs. Canady also works with parents and administrators to identify as many additional resources as she can.” Mitchell nominated Canady for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “I grew up as a son of a teacher and spent much of my youth around schools, and I have never seen anyone quite as loving and determined as Mrs. Canady is to help her students succeed,” said Mitchell. “Beyond the academic success she works so hard to help them achieve, Mrs. Canady’s impact on her students’ lives goes well beyond the classroom. She gives them confidence in places where they would never have found it. She is a mother hen who tirelessly advocates for them. Mrs. Canady improves society day by day, one student at a time.”

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Cara Byrne

  • School: Samantha Smith Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

“Each student is unique to Cara Byrne. They all have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. When a student presents a challenge, Ms. Byrne works to get to the root of the problem and doesn’t stop until she’s found a solution. She recognizes that what works for one student may not work for another,” said Kum Carroll, the parent of a student. “Ms. Byrne has high yet age-appropriate expectations of the students in her classroom, and they rise up to meet those expectations. As a second-grade teacher for many years, Ms. Byrne instilled more self-discipline in her students than many would believe possible for young children. They took their learning, classroom and homework responsibilities very seriously. This year, she and her third-graders collaboratively devised their own set of class rules. By involving her students in the process, it reinforced the importance of those rules in their minds.” Carroll nominated Byrne for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Ms. Byrne works to ensure that her students will be successful in life as well as setting them up for academic success,” said Carroll. “Most notably, she helps children develop the social and emotional skills they will need to become well-integrated members of society. Not only does she teach her young charges math, science, social studies and reading, she also instructs them in how to respect one another, how to listen and take turns in conversations, and other important life skills they’ll need beyond the classroom.”

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Becky Kjolso

  • School: Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Cam Chancellor

“Known in some circles as the ‘Kid Whisperer,’ Becky Kjolso is a stand-out at Franklin. She is the teacher you cross your fingers for and hope your child is placed in her class,” said Riley Frazier. “My son was still in 2nd grade the first time I stepped into Ms. Kjolso’s classroom. It was palpably different from others I’d visited, with a wonderful energy. Each and every child was smiling and happy, while still remaining respectful and in control—no small feat with a room full of 7- and 8-year-olds! I had more opportunities to see her work with her students once she became my son’s 3rd grade teacher and watched her mold her class into a wonderfully happy group that excelled both academically and socially.” Frazier nominated Kjolso for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Becky Kjolso is that most precious of resources, a teacher that cares deeply for her students,” said Frazier. “Just as she took a little extra time to help my son with some classroom challenges, I've talked to other parents that have appreciated the personal investments she made with their children. I am incredibly grateful for what she did for my son and believe she should be recognized for this and the countless other young lives she’s had an impact on in her teaching career.”

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Tracy Dyson

  • School: Hazelwood Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 2
  • Favorite Player: Bobby Wagner

“Tracy Dyson is an amazing teacher who takes the time with her students to address any problems they may have. She offers encouragement while gently communicating the importance of striving to be successful. Mrs. Dyson keeps her kids accountable, not just for their homework but also for their actions and how they treat others. This approach helps the children become better students and achieve their academic goals while also helping them learn how to become better people,” said Amy Donaldson, the parent of one of Dyson’s former students. “One of the things I most appreciated about Mrs. Dyson is how well she communicates with parents; she encourages them to come and volunteer in her classroom. It builds a bridge to a healthy, productive relationship between parents, teacher and student.” Donaldson nominated Dyson for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Mrs. Dyson has had a huge impact on my daughter’s life. After struggling with reading and some difficulty focusing in 1st and 2nd grade, she is now a thriving 4th-grader,” said Donaldson. “Thanks to Mrs. Dyson’s dedication, suggestions and tips for how to help her read without getting frustrated with herself, my daughter has blossomed. She shines with the confidence that comes from knowing she can do it—and she has an unbreakable bond with Mrs. Dyson that’s a joy to behold!”

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Danielle Woods

  • School: Leschi Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten & Grade 1
  • Favorite Player: Richard Sherman

“Danielle Woods has made a lasting impact on her students, the school and the wider Leschi community. I can personally speak to the profound effect she has had as she began her teaching career as a student-teacher in my classroom,” said Heidi Trudel. “A few years ago, Danielle, along with her partner teacher, spearheaded a movement to combine two learning environments at Leschi Elementary. The goal was to bring more cohesion and create equitable classrooms. The transformation she helped drive has had a positive impact, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed how our school and community have changed for the better as a result of her leadership and guidance.”

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Maret Poole

  • School: McGilvra Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Maret Poole creates the bright, fun kindergarten environment everyone dreams of but which is rumored to be a thing of the past. She finds myriad ways to ensure her young students get the full kindergarten experience, whether that’s monthly field trips or celebrating special days you've never heard of like National Kazoo Day or cultural holidays that become learning experiences,” said Maggie Burgess, a former teaching colleague. “Mrs. Poole is able to differentiate for students at all levels, providing opportunities that meet each child's specific needs — from advanced learners to those who may be struggling to meet standard. She is what we call a ‘warm demander;’ she has high expectations of her students, but she also is warm and genuinely caring. Her impact upon her students is obvious as first- through fifth-graders regularly poke their heads in at recess to say hello and proudly share their accomplishments.” Burgess nominated Poole for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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Kailey Shepard

  • School: Mill Creek Middle School
  • Teaches: Social Studies - Grade 7
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

“Look up ‘excellent teaching’ in the dictionary and you will find Kailey Shepard’s picture. A second-generation social studies teacher here in Kent, she is an integral part of Mill Creek Middle School,” said Nanette Navarro, a Kent School District colleague, who nominated Shepard for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award. “Kailey wholly dedicates herself to her profession and her students. Immediately after earning her master’s degree in her second year of teaching, she pursued an English Language Learners endorsement in order to better serve a diverse student population represented by 125 languages. She teaches these kids about the world and has a way with young people that makes them feel loved, respected, and excited to learn!”

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Dana Barry

  • School: St. John School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Dana Barry is the kindest, most patient teacher—one who takes the time to know each individual student and ensure that each child is heard, understood, and validated. She knows what motivates them, what encourages them, and how to keep them confident in themselves and their work,” said Melissa Herron, the parent of a St. John School student. “As a classroom volunteer, I have watched her move from one student to the next, acknowledging what each of her 26 students needs to get through the current challenge. She comes up with amazing ways to keep the kids interested, calm and learning.” Herron nominated Barry for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Miss Barry’s students learn so much more than the basics. They acquire the academic skills they need to move forward, but she also arms them with the confidence to succeed socially,” said Herron. “Miss Barry teaches the whole child; as a result, kids come out of her class not just smart, but ‘good people.’ She goes above and beyond to ensure that these children are both intellectually and emotionally solid.” “It seems so simple and insignificant to nominate a teacher, but I am so thankful that my son has had the opportunity to learn from Miss Barry,” adds Herron. “Teachers go unrecognized every day. Miss Barry is in the profession of teaching for all the right reasons. She truly cares about every one of her students. In this day and age, you don't see that very often.”